2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Featured Image

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2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Ratings

7

Features

7.5/10

Interior

6.5/10

Exterior

6.5/10

Fuel Economy

7.0/10

Safety

7.5/10

Pros

  • Nimble and quick
  • Mobile connectivity features
  • Quite the looker
  • Smooth 6-speed automatic gearbox

Cons

  • Fuel Economy could be better
  • No more manual gearbox
  • Interior quality not as great as rivals

Overview

Chevrolet was having a tough time with its small cars for they were not that engaging and reliable enough. They finally broke that jinx with the ‘Sonic’. This new small sedan from the bow-tie Americans received many awards to many critical appraises. It even bagged the JD Power award for being the ‘Most Dependable Car’ of 2016.

Stepping into the new decade, the new Sonic features the same turbocharged 1.4L ECOTEC 4-Cylinder engine. Even dimension wise, the Sonic is relatively the same car. Except for this year, Chevrolet has discontinued the six-speed manual transmission. Furthermore, the Sonic will be available in two different colors namely, Oasis Blue and Cayenne Orange Metallic. So by and large, the Sonic remains the same with just a minor behavioral change, in the form of a mandatory automatic transmission.

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Front Look
2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Front Look

What’s new in 2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan?

The Chevy Sonic will be available in two new colours. Apart from that, it’s the same car as the 2019 Sonic. Also, Chevy has dropped the manual gearbox, so young enthusiastic drivers looking for a reasonably-priced sporty commuter should not be disappointed. Apart from the Sedan, Sonic also comes in Hatchback Variant throughout the US.

Read the 2019 Chevy Sonic Review

Trims and features

The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic is available in three trims, the LS, LT, and the top-model Premier. The features and descriptions of each trim are provided in the table below:

Sonic Sedan LT

  • Price: $16,720
  • 10 airbags
  • 6-speed automatic gearbox
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Brakes(ABS)
  • 1 month free trial of OnStar safety and security package
  • 1 month free trial of Chevrolet Connected Services

Sonic Sedan LS

  • Price: $18,620
  • Adds all the features of the LT Trims plus the following:
  • 15-inch aluminum wheels Premium 6 speaker sound system
  • Heated and power-adjustable side-view mirrors that match body-color
  • Sirius XM radio subscription free trial for 3 months

Sonic Sedan Premier

  • Price: $20,720
  • Adds all the features of the LS Trims plus the following:
  • 17-inch aluminum wheels
  • Keyless open and start
  • Enhanced driver information center
  • Perforated Leatherette seating.

Our Recommendation

Because it is the least priced, the LT model lacks certain basic exterior features like side-view mirrors and aluminum painted wheels. Their absence makes the car look half- baked and might not appeal to its patent young crowd.

The best one to go for is possibly the LS trim. It has all the safety features of the LT (standard to all trims) along with painted aluminum wheels, a sublime audio system and side mirrors that match the body color of the exterior. Of course, the champagne Charlie of the bunch, the Premier trim is well-equipped but at $20,720, it seems too much for a car of its segment. Especially when compared to its Japanese rivals like the Nissan Versa and Honda Fit.

So, in a nutshell, we would recommend you to skip the “basic” base model (see what we did there?) and move on to the LS Sedan for $18,620.

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan LS
2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan LS

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Performance

The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic comes only with a 1.4L ECOTEC turbocharged, 4-cylinder motor under the hood. The power plant produces a healthy 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque and the 6-speed automatic gearbox transmits that power with ease without much turbo lag. The engine feels refined and does not protest much in slow traffic conditions. The only time this engine struggles is on the hills. The torque delivery feels slow that it doesn’t feel enough at times to propel the car forward.

2020 Chevy Sonic Premier Engine
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Premier Engine

Acceleration

The Sonic accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in just 8.5 seconds. This is similar to the Honda Fit, which has a stick shift, and quicker than the automatic Nissan Versa that takes 9.5 seconds to hit the same speed.

0-60 MPH8.7 seconds (approx.)
Quarter Mile16.8 seconds
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15k mi/yr) 6.1

Being a proper family sedan, the Sonic is more inclined towards efficiency. Initial acceleration does require a bit of hard stomping on the pedal to propel the car in motion. But once in motion, the power delivery is quick and consistent and the slouched Sonic starts move ahead with ease. The automatic transmission with its precise upshift timing is hassle-free but it does not feel that exciting.

Braking

The Chevrolet Sonic has disc brakes at the front and drum brakes in the rear. All four have an anti-lock feature and when it comes to bringing the car to a halt, it is pretty impressive.

Brake front
 (in.)
10.8
Brake Rear
 (in.)
9.0
Curb Weight
 (lbs.)
2857
60-0 MPH (ft.) 118

With a curb weight of 2857 lbs. the Chevvy Sonic is the heaviest amongst its competitors. But that doesn’t seem to affect the braking performance and at 118 feet, the Sonic stops far behind its competitors in the braking test.

Riding & Handling

Despite ditching the manual gearbox, the Sonic manages to impress enthusiastic drivers on the move with its steering wheel. The wheel feels grippy to hold and is responsive when changing directions quickly. The regular base suspension offers a smooth and comfortable ride. But the ‘sporty’ suspension, available in the Sonic this time, stiffens the ride. So on the whole, the handling is great and the Sonic does not feel that dull to drive as earlier iterations of this car were.

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Fuel Economy

Sonic Sedan claims to have a fuel economy of 34 miles to the gallon on the highway and that seems less when compared to its rivals in the segment.

MPG (city) 26
MPG (highway)34
MPG (combined)29
Fuel tank capacity (gallons)12.2
Range (city/highway) (miles)317/415

Despite featuring a well-timed automatic transmission, its hefty and lethargic proportions does not help much when it comes to its fuel efficiency. Interestingly, earlier models with manual transmission were more fuel-efficient and fun to drive.

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Interior

The interior of the Sonic looked pretty dated and basic but the 2020 model has been revised to keep up with the time. The materials do feel cheap and plasticky but they don’t make much noise when on the move. With just 67 dB of cabin noise, the Sonic definitely has a refined cabin. Legroom both in the front and back is excellent and the same goes for the headroom as well. Visibility from the front driver seat is also great since the dash feels lower than it used to be, despite its weird curvature and the slightly busy center console.

How are the seats like?

In terms of seating, the Sonic will remind you of its bigger siblings like the Cruze and Impala. The 6-way power-adjustable front seats are standard in the Premier trim. Along with that, there is ample thigh and back support at the rear too. The rear seats are comfortable and are suitable for those long interstate travels.

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Seating
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Seating

Cargo Space

The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan has a modest trunk space of just 14.9 Cubic, which is on par with its competitors. But what separates the sedan from its hatchback counterpart are the rear seats. The rear seats in the hatchback are foldable unlike the ones in the sedans, which creates additional space for cargo at 47.7 cubic feet. Aside from that, there is plenty of additional pocket space on all four doors for those hot cups of coffee.

Infotainment

This sedan might not have the best-in-class infotainment system but it surely doesn’t leave you desiring for more. The standard 7-inch infotainment screen is pretty straight forward and easy to use. The response timings of the screen are quick and some audio/video functions can be controlled via the buttons mounted on the steering wheel. There’s also a basic trip computer display on the right of the instrument cluster that displays the maximum distance the car can travel, under current driving circumstances and fuel in the tank.

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Infotainment
2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Infotainment

The features of the infotainment system are as follows:

  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Bluetooth
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Outside temperature display
  • SiriusXM

A Sirius XM subscription for 3 months is also available in the LT trim while it is optional in the base LS. Overall, Sonic’s infotainment system is a joy to use and its mobile connectivity features will not bore you that easily.

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Interior Pictures

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Exterior

As far as the exterior of the 2020 Chevrolet Sonic is concerned, the overall body has not gone through any radical change as such. It has carried forward the same design scheme from last year. But elements like the aggressive-looking front air dam and the Camaro-inspired grille does not make the Sonic a boring car. The rear fascia with a factory-fitted rear spoiler tries its best to give the Sonic a sportier look. Although we approve the sedan design, the Sonic feels better suited with the hatchback body style.

Design and Dimensions

The Chevrolet Sonic sedan is the longest and heaviest sedan for its class. It’s because of such large proportions, the Sonic offers more cabin space and boot space. The Exterior dimensions are as follows:

Wheelbase (in./mm): 99.4/2525
Overall Length (in./mm):173.9/4416
Overall Width (in./mm):68.3/1735
Overall Height (in./mm): 59.7/1516
Curb Weight (lbs.)2857
Track (in/mm):59.4/1509 (front) 59.4/1509 (rear)
2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Exterior Dimensions
2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Exterior Dimensions

Exterior Features

The list of exterior features in this car is as follows:

  • ‘Intellibeam ‘ headlights that turn on automatically
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Rearview camera
  • Plastic black mirrors on the side
  • Body-color side-view mirrors
  • Heated and power-adjustable side-view mirrors
  • 15 and 17 inch painted aluminum wheels
  • Keyless entry

2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Exterior Pictures

 

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Safety

The list of safety features of this car is as follows:

  • 10 airbags
  • 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System
  • ‘Intellibeam’ automatic headlights
  • Forward collision alert
  • Lane change alert
  • Side blind zone alert
  • Rear park assist
  • Front pedestrian braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Child door locks
  • Child seat anchors
  • Rearview camera
  • 1 month free trial of ‘OnStar’ safety and security package.

How much will the 2020 Chevy Sonic Sedan Cost?

The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan starts at $16,720 for the base LS model and goes up to $18,620 for the LT Sedan. The top-model Premier will set you back around $20,720.

 Cost of Ownership

The approximate cost of owning the 2020 Chevrolet Sonic, in the long run, is shown below and is broken down into various aspects of ownership. Please note that these figures may change concerning how you maintain the car.

  • Depreciation: $11,730
  • Fuel Cost: $6,950
  • Financing cost: $3,225
  • Insurance cost; $4,269
  • Maintenance: $4,295
  • Repairs: $791

Hence, the total cost of owning the 2020 Chevrolet Sonic would be $31,260

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan Competition

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan VS 2020 Nissan Versa:

(Pricing: $14,730-18,420)

The Nissan Versa, despite being available in the market since 2006, has only recently become a reckoner in the small commuter sedan market. The current N18 generation Versa has received great reviews and also costs less than the Sonic. The interior of the Versa is truly a thing of beauty and neither the Fit nor the Sonic comes close to its cabin aesthetics. The sporty looking, proper flat-bottom steering wheel with an optional digital tachometer display and plush leatherette on the dash enhance the luxury in the front passenger seat. The subtle yet gorgeous dash resembles that of the Mazda 3 especially with its optional cream and black dash.

But with an underpowered 122 hp 4-cylinder engine, Nissan’s performance is not up to the mark. So, if you’re the kind who doesn’t stress much on performance, the Versa might just be your cup of tea.

2020 Nissan Versa
2020 Nissan Versa

2020 Chevrolet Sonic Sedan VS 2019 Mazda 3

Mazda has nailed both the interior and exterior aspects of the Mazda 3. Arguably the prettiest commuter hatchback on sale, the Mazda 3 showcases its brilliance and sports car tradition through small but effective cues. Like the tail lights with racing-inspired ring lights similar to the RX-7 FC and the aggressive low-slung front end. Even the interior is well put together and feels way more premium for its class.

The Mazda 3 also happens to be the leader in the performance department as it comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-banger with almost 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque that may be mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic. This makes the Mazda less fuel-efficient, with figures similar to the Sonic. So, what lacks in the Sonic has been addressed in the Mazda 3, so if the need is for a performance-oriented small car, then look no further.

2020 Mazda 3
2020 Mazda 3

Our Final Verdict

The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic sedan is quite comfortable to drive and to travel in. It has decent performance and a silky smooth transmission makes driving in high-traffic conditions almost effortless which makes this car really easy to drive. The only drawback would be the lack of a manual shifter and it’s interior build quality. The manual shift used to make the drive in the Sonic much more engaging than the present one. So, overall the Chevrolet Sonic is a practical, reasonably-priced small sedan. It is easy to live with and easily meets the purpose it was built for, so anyone who is looking forward to buying their first car, this should be the one you should go for.

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